Westward Moving History of Hubei Provincial library During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and Re-Walking the History in the Library’s 111 Years Old

CAO, Xingyue (2017) Westward Moving History of Hubei Provincial library During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and Re-Walking the History in the Library’s 111 Years Old. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 88 - Rare Books and Special Collections.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1693
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Language: English (Original)
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Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/1693/1/088-cao-en.pdf

Abstract

Westward Moving History of Hubei Provincial library During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and Re-Walking the History in the Library’s 111 Years Old

Hubei Provincial Library, founded in 1904, is the earliest provincial public library in modern China. In the 1930s, the Japanese imperialists launched the war of aggression against China, and carried out indiscriminate destruction and trampling on the territory and resources of China, as well as cultural facilities and resources. The libraries were no exception. In July 1938, the Hubei Provincial Library moved westward from capital city Wuhan to a small mountain town Enshi, to protect the cultural classics. Over 98000 volumes of library collection including more than 3000 rare books, and more than 9000 national famous ancient book plates were moved to Enshi. In 1946, the Library returned to Wuhan, with the collection of over 98000 volumes increasing to over 110000 volumes, through the donation of volumes by some great scholars. These books laid a solid foundation for the comprehensive restoration of the library undertaking in Hubei Province. According to post-war statistics, only 944 volumes of books were lost or damaged during the Westward Moving. The Library is one of the least lost libraries during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. In China and even in the history of library development in the world, this is rare. The Westward Moving of the Library made great contribution to Hubei culture preservation and protection. To some extent, the experience of the Library with the actions taken to preserve its treasures and collections has become a symbol of disasters experienced by Chinese libraries during the War. This paper introduces the Westward Moving history of Hubei Provincial library systematically, showing the great patriotism and spirit presented by the older generation of Chinese library people in their responsibility to defend territory and preserve culture, stimulating contemporary library workers to further protect, explore, and make the most of rare books and collection.

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